Lest you think I’ve been sitting on my lazy butt instead of blogging, here’s what I’ve been up to in the past few months.

Mexico City
I ventured to Mexico City which is neither as dirty nor as insane as I was led to believe. In fact, in a Lima vs. Distrito Federal smackdown, D.F. would win by a knockout. There’s just so much more life and vibrancy there. AND I didn’t feel like I had to watch my back every second. I was hoping I wouldn’t stick out as a tourist too much, but alas, I could not pass as Mexican. I took a Spanish class leading up to this trip and it was great to have a refresher — especially since it meant I could speak to more people at the conference with confidence. The International AIDS Conference is one of my favorites to attend. It has such a positive and fun vibe compared to the academic conferences I attend over the course of the year for work.

Here’s a photo from the excellent Museo Nacional de Antropologia, which I managed to see in some free time
Death God
Click Image to View Full Size

Wilmington, North Carolina
Shortly after returning from Mexico, I waited in the airport for far too long to get to my brother’s wedding in Wilmington, North Carolina. Note to self — it would have taken about the same amount of time to drive. DRIVE NEXT TIME! Herb and I stayed at a fantastic B&B suggested by my folks called the C.W. Worth House. The food and company was good at breakfast-time. Perhaps the most amusing was the young Italian couple that came to Wilmington because the husband was a huge Dawson’s Creek fan and wanted to see if he liked the real place as much as the fictional one. Unfortunate wedding moments: melted cupcake frosting, thinking TJ might throw something REALLY embarrassing into the slideshow, Grammy apologizing for “ruining the wedding” by tearing up before the ceremony began, me doing man-arms on the way back down the aisle. Great wedding moments: the iPod music went off without a hitch, excellent entrance and exit music, my baby cousin breakdancing, my brother donning a rubber glove to take off the garter.


Click Image to View Full Size

Burning Man
I went to Burning Man with the best people in the whole wide world. Camp BloodyMaryLand rules! I agree with Bort when he says that if we wanted to, the people of our camp could rule the world — hell, we even had a nurse and doctor on hand! The dust on Day 1 was awful, so awful it made the news. Fortunately no one decided to quit camp and we made it through the rest of the week in good spirits. Things to remember: Building a bike trailer isn’t that hard; building a good hitch is. Chili is awesome desert food. Freeze-dried puffed fruit and truffle salt should be added to our pantry. There are sneaky ways to pee on the playa, but taking the contraption off can be painful. If you haul a ladder out into the middle of the desert, it’s OK to be ‘mean’ and use it for yourself. Showers are good. Getting to and staying on the playa is HARD, and you wouldn’t have the same caliber of people in your midst if it were easy. You’ve seen one boob, you’ve seen them all. SQUISHY BASS. Keep your eyes open and explore more. That is not a camp-marking flag, it is the official flag of Alistan!

When the absurd becomes ordinary, you know you are at Burning Man


Click Image to View Full Size

Salt Lake City, Utah
I just got back from travels to Salt Lake City for the SACNAS conference (Chicano and Native American Scientists). Salt Lake is a pretty, quiet town, surrounded by mountains that takes its pedestrian safety VERY SERIOURSLY. Do not jaywalk. You will get stared at, admonished, and stopped by bored police. No joke. At crosswalks not at a light or intersection, you will find neon orange flags to carry across with you to make you more visible to oncoming traffic. You are to deposit it in the receptacle on the other side when you are done. It is very odd. If you ever travel there, I recommend getting your exercise by walking up to the statehouse and taking in the views. It is quiet and peaceful there.


Click Image to View Full Size